Public Notices

Public Notice No. 20-37; File No. LRN-2020-00220

Published July 2, 2020
Expiration date: 8/2/2020

Public Notice No. 20-37                             
Nashville District          
Application No. LRN-2020-00220  
Date: July 2, 2020; Expires: August 02, 2020

Please address all comments to:
Nashville District Corps of Engineers,
Regulatory Division,
3701Bell Road
Nashville, TN 37214
Attn: Samantha Iskrzycki

SUBJECT: Proposed horizontal directional drill approximately 165 lf crossing underneath the Harpeth River and the associated temporary fill in the event of inadvertent loss of drilling fluid into the stream detailed in the frac-out contingency plan in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee.

TO ALL CONCERNED: The application described below has been submitted for a Department of the Army Permit (DA) pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States and to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1899 for crossing a navigable waters of the United States. Before a permit can be issued, certification must be provided by the state of Tennessee, pursuant to Section 401(1)(1) of the CWA, that applicable water quality standards will not be violated, the applicant has applied for the required certification.

APPLICANT:  Atmos Energy
                       C/O Mr. Ryan Austin
                       810 Crescent Centre Drive #600
                       Franklin, TN 37067

LOCATION: The site of the proposed crossing and potential temporary discharge of fill material into 165 linear feet of the Harpeth River is located near the intersection of Lewisburg Avenue and Carnton Lane, Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee. Latitude: 35.913621, Longitude: -86.863332.

DESCRIPTION: A gas line will be installed underneath the bed of the Harpeth River using Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) methods. In the event of the inadvertent loss of drilling fluid (a "frac-out"), a contingency plan will be implemented to contain the spill. It involves the temporary discharge of fill material into 165 feet of the Harpeth River. The site has been disturbed previously by roads and residential development and previously installed pipelines are in the vicinity as well.

Plans of the proposed work and a location map are attached to this notice. If you wish to view additional plans, please contact this office or visit our website at: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx,

PURPOSE AND NEED: The applicant has stated that the purpose of the proposed project is to replac an existing gas distribution line that served a similar function. The proposed project is needed to maintain the availability of natural gas to Franklin, Tennessee residents.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION OF IMPACTS TO WATERS OF THE U.S.: The applicant will be using Horizontal Directional Drilling technology, no direct effects to the Harpeth River are expected except in the event of a frac-out. In the instance of a frac-out, hand-placed containment such as silt curtains or turbidity barriers will be placed, and a vac-truck employed if necessary. All fill contingency measures will be removed when no longer needed.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW/CUMULATIVE EFFECTS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy  needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. In addition, the evaluation of the impact of the  activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, under authority of Section 404(b)(1) of the CWA(40 CFR Part 230).

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS: The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the USACE to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historical properties, water quality, and general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to NEPA. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  An EA will be prepared by this office prior to a final  decision concerning issuance or denial of the requested DA Permit.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: The applicant provided a Phase 1 cultural resource survey and report for the proposed project site covering approximately 3.2 acres. Aside from 2 isolated artifacts, no archaeological sites were identified within the 3.2 acres survey area. A copy of this notice is being sent to Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and Federally recognized tribes for their comments and consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Corps invites responses from American Indian Tribes or tribal governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; historical  and archeological societies; parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns regarding historic
properties and cultural American Tribes, and other consulting parties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW: Based on information provided by the applicant and consultation from USFW and a review of the USFWS website, http://ecos.fws.gov/ecos/indexPublic.do, the following federally-listed species are known to or believed to occur in Williamson County,
Tennessee.

Species Nomenclature

Federal Status

Mammals

Gray bat (Myotis grisescens)

Endangered

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)

Endangered

Northern-long eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Threatened

Flowering Plants

Leafy Prairie-clover (Dalea Foliosa)

Endangered

Price’s Potato-bean (Apios priceana)

Threatened


The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7 of ESA on all actions that may affect a species listed (or proposed for listing) under the ESA as threatened or endangered  or any designated critical habitat. USFWS was consulted January 3, 2020 and provided a determination of “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” for the bat species Indiana bat (Myotis
sodalis) and northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) in the area. USFW reported that they were unaware of any occurrence records for federally threatened or endangered species within the action area. A copy of this notice is being furnished to the USFWS for their review. Per this notification, we request comments from the USFWS concerning potential impacts to threatened and/or endangered species. After receipt of comments, the USACE will evaluate the potential impacts to proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat and initiate consultation with the USFWS, if required.

OTHER APPROVALS: In addition to the DA permit, other federal, state, and/or local approvals may be required for the proposed work. Water Quality Certification from the State of Tennessee is required for the proposed work in accordance with Section 401(a)(1) of the Clean Water Act.

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTS: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a hearing.

COMMENT PERIOD: Written statements received in this office on or before August 02, 2020, will become a part of the record and will be considered in the determination. Any response to this notice should be directed to the Regulatory Division, Attention: Samantha Iskrzycki, at the above address, or by email samantha.n.iskrzycki@usace.army.mil.

//s//

Timothy C. Wilder
Chief, West Branch
Regulatory Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers